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This proverb suggests "Legendary Phoenix rises from the ashes." Literally, it means, "Legendary Phoenix [reaches] Nirvana."
There is a legend in China of a great bird which is reborn once every 500 years. This bird gathers all the ill-will, suffering, desire, and other negative things of the whole world. The bird then plunges into the fire to burn away all negative things, sacrificing itself in the process (achieving Nirvana, or perhaps allowing others the opportunity to reach Nirvana).
500 years later, the phoenix is reborn from the ashes again, and the cycle repeats.
In Chinese, Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja, this means overcome, surpass, transcendence, excel, to exceed, go beyond, to rise above, or to transcend.
This Japanese proverb can be translated as, "flourish and wither, prosper and perish," "life is full of fortune and misfortune," or simply "vicissitudes of life."
This is about the rise and fall of human affairs or the ups and downs of life. Prosperity comes and goes, everything is fleeting and temporary but like waves, another swell of prosperity may come.
Here's how the Kanji break down in this proverb:
栄 = prosper; thrive; flourish; boom.
枯 = wither; die.
盛 = prosperous; flourishing; thriving; successful; energetic; vigorous; enthusiastic.
衰 = become weaker; decline; get weak; die down; subside; abate; fail.
Notes: The original version of the first character looks like the image to the right. In modern Japan, they simplified that Kanji a bit into the version shown above. If you have a preference for which style is used for your calligraphy, please let me know when you place your order.
Apparently, with that original version of the first character, this is also used in Korean Hanja. However, I have not confirmed that it's used in the same way or is widely-known in Korean.
This Japanese proverb literally reads, "failures/mistakes/blunders are the yeast-starter/yeast-mash of success."
Basically, it suggests that failures are a necessary part of success; Just as bread or beer requires yeast to successfully rise or brew/ferment.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
This Chinese proverb means, "make a comeback," or "resuming after a failure." It's sometimes used in terms of losing a job and then getting it back. However, it applies to any kind of comeback after difficulty.
The literal meaning of this Chinese idiom is, "[The] Eastern Mountain Again [will] Rise."
This Japanese proverb relays the vicissitudes of life, with the meaning "seven times down eight times up."
Some would more naturally translate it into English as "Always rising after a fall or repeated failures" or compare it to the English, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
The first Kanji is literally "7." The second means "fall down" (sometimes this Kanji means "turn around," "revolve" or "turn over" but in this case, it holds the meaning of "fall"). The third is "8." And the last is "get up," "rouse," or "rise."
Basically, if you fail 7 times, you should recover from those events and be prepared to rise an 8th time. This also applies if it is the world or circumstances that knock you down seven times...
...just remember that you have the ability to bounce back from any kind of adversity.
Note: This can be pronounced two ways. One is "shichi ten hakki" or "shichitenhakki." The other is "nana korobi ya oki" also written, "nanakorobi-yaoki."
Special Note: The second character is a Kanji that is not used in China. Therefore, please only select our Japanese master calligrapher for this selection.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Phoenix Rise from the Ashes||鳳凰涅磐|
|fèng huáng niè pán|
feng4 huang2 nie4 pan2
feng huang nie pan
|feng huang nieh p`an
feng huang nieh pan
|超越||chou etsu / chouetsu / cho etsu / choetsu||chāo yuè / chao1 yue4 / chao yue / chaoyue||ch`ao yüeh / chaoyüeh / chao yüeh|
|Rise and Fall|
Ups and Downs
|栄枯盛衰 / 榮枯盛衰|
|ei ko sei sui|
The Next Sun
|明日||ashita / meibi||míng rì / ming2 ri4 / ming ri / mingri||ming jih / mingjih|
|Failure is a Stepping Stone to Success||失敗は成功のもと||sittpai wa seikou no moto|
sittpai wa seiko no moto
Stage a Comeback
|dōng shān zài qǐ|
dong1 shan1 zai4 qi3
dong shan zai qi
|tung shan tsai ch`i
tung shan tsai chi
|hi you / hiyou / hi yo / hiyo||fēi yáng / fei1 yang2 / fei yang / feiyang|
|Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight||七転八起||shichi ten hakki / nana korobi ya oki|
shichi ten haki / nana korobi ya oki
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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